This summer, I have been doing some work experience with the Minister of my home church, shadowing the funeral process, leading, preaching and co-leading a Holiday Club Group.
It has been difficult. It has been challenging. It has been a massive learning curve and extremely rewarding. To serve at the Church at which you became a Christian (16 years ago next week!), to preach to people who taught you about the Bible is extremely nerve-wracking.
It shouldn’t be so scary, surely? These people love me, have invested in me and my calling.
And yet, perhaps it is because they expect so much, or because they know so much about me. They have undoubtedly seen me at my worst – and my history seemed to be behind their smiles. It was undoubtedly my insecurity rather than anything they did, but it got me thinking.
Why is it so much harder to serve at your home church after being away. After all, it was the church that I sang my first solo, preached my first message and lead my first service. Perhaps, however, it is that reason that it’s so difficult.
Now, I am not calling myself a prophet by any means – but Luke 4:24 rang true with me ‘I tell you the truth’, he continued, ‘no prophet is accepted in his home town’. It is not that I’m not accepted – I’ve been welcomed back with open arms – but rather it is my feeling of inadequacy that makes me think I’m not good enough and that those people who have known me so well for so long will see that weakness in me.
In my case at least – it is not that I’m not accepted in my home town – it’s that I do not feel accepted in my home town because I have the misguided belief that they can see through to the weaknesses in me that all so glaringly obvious when I look at myself.
Maybe the more we accept ourselves- who we are and where we’ve come from, what we’ve been through and what we’ve resorted to – maybe it then that we accept that we are accepted in our home towns and we are good enough to be accepted.
And why are we good enough?
Because we are no more or less than created and called by the Creator God who has given us all the gifts and skills we need to do the job He has is store for us…